Describing itself as a “hangout” and “creative space”, PLY is in the beating heart of hipster Northern Quarter, benefitting from a bit of outside space on the corner of Stevenson Square. Inside it’s all stripped walls and industrial-chic columns, with a mirror-tiled, woodfired pizza oven in prominent position.
PLY has always been about the Neapolitan sourdough pizzas, even before Neapolitan sourdough pizzas were a thing. Facebook pictures abound of blackened bubbled-up crusts, and toppings include classics such as the Napoletana, with anchovies, black olives and capers, and some more unusual combinations, such as artichoke and pig’s cheek with tomato, mozzarella and chilli.
There are vegan choices, like the Melanzane with aubergine, olives, pepper and vegan cheese, and gluten-free pizza is available – just ask. Fresh pasta is also on the menu, such as parpadelle: choose from pulled beef or pesto, topped with an egg to mix in and a crispy fried basil stem for extra herby oomph. Small plates include Sicilian-inspired arancini rice balls and herb-crumbed polenta mash and salsa verde with seared scallop or king oyster mushroom, for the plant-based version. Rolling out of the brunch kitchen is French toast and fry-ups, with house recipe butter bean baked beans.
Desserts are tentatively putting in an appearance, including the likes of tiramisu, or hit the cocktail list for some sweetness. There’s “a carefully selected and regularly refreshed range of craft beer” and natural wines are also available. The “creative space” part of the brief is met with a doodle wall and book exchange, and exhibitions by local and international artists.
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